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By Brett May, Head of Business Development and Venture Capital at GE Software

When people in big organizations want analytics, they tend to take one of a couple common routes. First, you can seek out the support of a data scientist, a Ph.D with a rare and valuable skill in analyzing large sets of data. Data scientists frequently use expensive and complicated software packages. Often, there’s a long wait involved for an answer. As an alternative, you can go to the analyst down the hall who’s a Microsoft Excel whiz. While he can quickly play around with the data, his toolkit is limited, as is his technical ability to handle big data sets.

At GE we understand the need for analyzing and manipulating big data quickly, and extracting insight from information in a more intuitive way. We work closely with our skilled data scientists around the globe to solve problems, but we also recognize that not every company has access to analytics experts or solutions.

GE Ventures recently invested in a company called Predixion Software that helps close this access gap between organizations and analytics. Predixion makes software that simplifies the user experience of analytics while offering an expanded toolkit. The result is self-service predictive analytics in a familiar, Microsoft Excel-based format. There’s a workbench and deployment framework that makes sharing and collaboration easy for the user, putting data-driven decision making into the hands of more customers, sooner. Additionally, Predixion runs in the cloud and allows analysts of varying skill levels to connect to big data sets (like those running on Pivotal, another GE investment) and other kinds of databases, and use an expanded set of analytical tools. Predixion has already attracted some marquee customers like Kaiser, Aetna, Chevron and the US Air Force.

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